Day 2 – First meeting with Darashakran
Finally, all kembers were united in one house. With barely any sleep, but a lot of pure love for the refugees we want to help, we got up after three hours of sleep. Today, we were going to accomplish some of what we had been planning months ahead. Yet, we still had no idea what was awaiting us.
The refugee camp we had the permission to enter, was called Darashakran. It was one of the good refugee camps out there. I guess the reason might be that it was one of the oldest (started in 2013), thus had established and welcomed many organisations. It was a huge camp, with almost 11 000 refugees.
We met up with the director of the camp and some other good people that also were responsible for the camp. A big thanks to the teacher Mardan who helped us entering the camp. We had a good meeting where we discussed how to distribute what was needed at the camp. We discovered that we needed to be more precise. There was after all 11 000 refugees, and we had to be precise about who we want to help and how many we could help.
On our way out of the camp, we visited the primary school. Small kids with books in their hands walked in the hot sun, while smiling and waving goodbye at us. We smiled and waved enthusiastically back at them, looking forwards to meeting them tomorrow and spending time with them. It was my first time meeting hope. I never thought that hope could look me in the eyes and smile at me like that. Have you seen hope in the eyes?
We used the rest of the day to look for diapers and milk, which are essential for the refugees. Looking for the right type and amount was really hard in the scorching heat, but I appreciated everyone´s motivation to help. I felt sorry for the members as they were walking around in the middle of the day, where the chances of getting a heatstroke was high. Usually, people in Kurdistan don´t go out in the afternoon. They usually go out later in the evening. But none of us cared about getting sick, instead we focused on getting the refugees what they needed - with all what we had.
First meeting with the refugee camp
Going out to the market to buy milk and diapers.
Preparing and packing the clothes
During our trip to the Bazar, we also got a look at the traditional way of shopping in Kurdistan. The roads were filled with small wagons selling fruits, sweets, books, clothing and much more. It was very funny how the sellers called out to the customers. They could call out specifically to people passing by to catch their attention. I know that it sounds logical, but it was funny how they could find words that made you really turn around and buy things from them. Some of them even did some singing which I thought was really cute. I appreciated their hard work during the hottest hours of the day.
Later that day, we went home to pack everything we had prepared. We were going to organize, count, and pack to deliver the stuff systematically to the refugees. We were both worried and sad knowing deep in our hearts, that whatever we had, was not enough. Still, we tried to pull off a smile to remind ourselves that we will do our best despite the situation. We had to stay strong for the refugees. If we were going to help them, we had to be mentally prepared for what was awaiting us. I was secretly worried how the inner me, Bano, would react when encountering new impressions.